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Used car recommendation - 1000 miles per week

I am looking for a COMFY good mileage used car. I will be putting on about 10000 miles per week so I would like something that I know can last a year or so. Don’t mind driving it into the ground.

I will be making a round trip of 800 miles plus local miles of abt 200 miles (mostly highway) per week.

I was kind of looking at a 2002 Toyota MR2 but the lack of trunk space probably kills that one.

The others would be a Honda Accord or Hyundai Elantra.

I would like to keep the price around $10K if possible.

Any thought or other car recommendations?

Buick With 3.8L, 28-30 MPG, Cheap Insurance, Safe, Comfortable, Reliable, Large Trunk.

An Accord or Camry would work well. The Camry would probably be quieter on the highway, but both are reliable and economical. If you like smaller cars a Corolla or Civic would get excellent gas mileage.

I have a feeling you’re looking for something more sporty, though. How about a Toyota Solara? You can even get a convertible Solara.

Comfort is for you to determine. A car that fits me may not be comfortable for you. Would you really want to spend that much time stuffed into an MR2?

If it’s just highway driving, and comfort and low cost are important, a good used Chevy Malibu, Buick Regal or Ford Taurus comes to mind. Those are dirt cheap, comfortable, and will last 300,000 miles if properly cared for. Avoid any Chrysler product.

Used Honda Accords and Toyota Camries are too pricy or they have too many miles on them.

High mileage Accords and Camrys are expensive because their life expectancy is still equal or better than their lower mileage counterparts, maintenance equality of course. Son buys them (Accords) with 100K, runs them to 200K cheaply. The cheapest, most reliable game in town.

Any car, domestic or import, will last as long as it is driven gently enough and maintained reasonably. I see some domestics with very high miles that still look and run like new, and some relatively low mile imports I would not want to own.

I once did some brake work on a 2001 Chevy Suburban that looked like it came off the showroom floor and drove like a brand new truck. It had 486k miles on it, and the owner said they just followed the maintenance schedule, drove it and kept it clean. I have also done some work on a couple of Buick LeSabres that were well into the 300k mile territory that still drove like new, with only basic maintenance done. Personally, I vote for the LeSabre/Park Ave. as a good, comfortable travel car. Comfortable seating for six adults, 30 mpg, huge trunk, luxurious ride, and now customer satisfaction and initial reliability that is better than Honda or Toyota. They are also cheap and plentiful. Conversely, Hondas and Toyotas seem to go downhill fast after they hit 200k miles, from what I have seen.

The last fifteen or so years has seen too much emphasis on how good Honda and Toyota are, along with how bad GM, Ford, and Chrysler are, and it has been getting worse these last few years. This is probably one of the things that sunk GM and Chrysler. Japanese cars are very reliable and well made, no argument there, but there are very good deals out there on some very nice and reliable domestics, with the overemphasis on Japanese reliability. Here in central IL, any chunk of rusty metal that has the name Honda or Toyota on it is instantly worth $3000. Why? Because it’s a Honda or Toyota.

I bought a 1996 Mercury Sable a year ago. There was also a 1993 Toyota Camry parked next to it, also for sale. The Merc was clean, rust free, and had about 112k miles on it. The Camry was trashed out, rusty, paint falling off the roof, hood, and trunk lid, smelled like smoke on the inside, had 220k miles on it, and a lake of power steering fluid under it the size of a welcome mat, and was obviously coming from the rack and pinion. The Merc was priced at $1200, the Camry $2800. Why? Because it’s a Toyota.

The MR2 will probably be a bad choice, since it’s sporty ride will probably cause you discomfort during 800 mile trips.

Whatever you get, test drive it extensively to see if it is comfy.

Chevy Impala, Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car

I cannot speak for the current LeSabre, but in 1998, we got rear-ended in Austin on I-35 Low, and rented a LeSabre to drive north where we bought a used Caravan.

That Le Sabre got well over 30 mpg at a steady 70 mph where allowed, and 65 where allowed. Unbelievable. They had a special engine designed apparently for that.

I cannot speak for needed repairs, but in older cars, it depends more on the individual car and its maintenance than on the make, whereas for a new one, there is a dramatic difference due to design and quality control by the component manufacturers. After 100,000 miles maintenance makes a big difference.

Look into a new car, a Chevrolet Cobalt XFE, for example with an EPA highway fuel mileage rating of 37 mpg. It will have a standard transmission but I can assure you that it will work very well. You might be able to buy brand new for around $13,000.

The discounts on a new car are very good these days.

As for your 1000 miles per week, you might as well buy new or you will be looking again soon.

Besides that, life is too short to spend it being cheap. Have a good time with a new car!

Get yourself a big old American land barge. A late-model Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, Buick LeSabre, something along those lines. They’re comfortable, get decent-ish gas mileage and if you take care of them they will last for ages.